20171017 Fall colours along Skerryvore Community Road and area

We took a detour to Skerryvore Community Road (off of Shebeshekong Road, down to the shoreline community of Skerryvore) on our way back from Parry Sound in late afternoon.  It was a good time to see various lighting (top, front, back, side) effects on the fall colours…..

This is the CPR crossing at Woods Road looking south, showing the effects of classical side lighting on leaves, the subject point at the end of the curve, and the cumuliform clouds.

Looking west, into the sun (which is hidden by that dark cloud) from Shebeshekong Road.  Always a challenge to preserve colour in such backlit scenes as an optimal exposure is difficult.

Looking southerly into a dappled driveway as the sugar maple burst of colour ends.  This is the first of several photos looking southerly as we headed westerly on Skerryvore Rd at around 4:00 PM.

Sunlight on a distant “haymeadow” as our sun side-lights the golden leaves remaining on a poplar tree.

Sun is poking out from the trunk of the tree on the right.  It is a useful trick to position the camera lens in a bit of shadow to shield it from excessive lens flare.  Another challenging picture to capture the colours — along with the brightly lit clouds and the shadows in the evergreens.

Oft-photographed tree trunks, this time enhanced by a brilliant red maple in a very high contrast (High Dynamic Range) situation…

Sun is high to the left,  side-lighting the distant colours:

The colour is very different as we head back easterly on Skerryvore Rd.  Here we are looking northerly, down sun:

Looking northerly, into downsun-dappled leaves …

Sun is high behind my left shoulder as I tried to highlight the red oak against the leafless birch on the side of this little creek:

A patch of sunlight highlighting the red winterberries against the shadow of the pines and spruce in the left mid-ground.  I often use some cover in the foreground to act as an architectural “negligee effect” —- in this case the tag alder branches in front of the little pond.  I often don’t know if it helps or not.  In this case it might be too heavy, tending to block rather than to entice.

As we head north on Shebeshekong road we try an experiment:  To capture the golden tamarack needles against the bright sunshine.

It’s a lot of fun playing with photons (aka light)!

20171016 Fall Colours, Winterberries

Autumn colours continue to be resplendent, enhanced by the bright red berries of winterberries.

Ilex verticillata aka Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, Canada holly, Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly.

Not to be confused with this bunch of  Highbush Cranberry  not yet harvested by foragers…

The last of the Elderberry leaves are yellowing…

Staghorn Sumac against a blue sky …

Century+ old CPR culvert was refurbished with new sides and a new outlet last summer, while the beavers were building a little downstream dam …

Sugar Maples at Big Lake …

The leaves of Fragrant White Water Lilies are transferring nutrients to their roots leaving splotchy fall colours …

On a misty rainy day, the colours are muted …

… to reappear in the sunshine ….

In  the photos above and below I was attracted to the illumination of the mid-ground trees ….

Mid-days with broken (stratocumulus) low clouds are good times to see patches of sunshine illuminating subjects of interest.  It is lots of fun to watch the patches of sunlight move across the forest glades.  The camera must be at the ready to catch images like the two above.





20171014 Colours, Harris Creek Bridge, Pitcher Plant, Milkweed Pods

In mid-October we continued to see pretty colours and some interesting seed pods.

This is the Hwy 69 bridge at the Harris Creek turn-off, looking downstream, westerly, under the bridge…

Sugar Maple along Harris Creek …

Heal-All is still blooming…

Tamaracks are starting to turn …

The view from Twin River Bridge is becoming quite colorful …

Big Lake in the evening ….

Seed head of the Purple Pitcher Plants along Hwy 509…  (Here is a blog discussing the cultivation of pitcher plants, including germination of seeds).

It is becoming quite popular to grow milkweeds.  This article shows how to harvest, store and plant the seeds.   Milkweed pods also make an interesting photo subject ….

Mary Holland writes about snowshoes for Ruffed Grouse.

20171012 Hwy 529 Fall Colours and Milkweed Pods

Intermittent rain showers helped us to see this year’s fall colours … which seemed to peak in a ragged way this time around the sun.

Here are the remnants of a good crop of Bristly Sarsaparilla

Little pool on east side Hwy 529 in the afternoon…

Red Maple turning …

Looking downstream, westerly, from Twin Rivers Bridge …

Goldenrod, “gone to seed”:

Three  milkweed pods, one with a critter in nymph form.

The nutrient remobilization in these raspberry leaves is almost complete.  The resulting colouration reveals the fractal-like pattern of each leaf’s vein structure.  (Click on the image a couple of times to see the patterns up close.  Use your browser’s “back” button to return.)

TinTin and I often enjoy CBC Radio One while out and about.  I find the Canadian content to be a pleasant antidote to some of the “news” that fills our aether.

A few days ago we came across a muddy pick-up carrying a couple of 4 wheelers, way back in the boonies.   In addition to other graffiti, the lifted half-ton was sporting this decal:

Apparently there are folks around who have strong feelings on the topic:

Probably best to ignore them  and to spend more of our time enjoying our natural environments, our arts and our kin and friends.

20171007-09 Horned Lark, Painted Lady, Clouded Sulphur, Monarch

We photographed our first Horned Lark and have been enjoying the last of this season’s butterflies flitting about in the warm sunshine.   Some examples:

This is my first photo of a Horned Lark —- standing on the bottom of an overturned boat along Riverside Road.  I didn’t hear it sing and first thought it might be a White Throated Sparrow, which are commonly found in that location.  Compare the above with this Audobon photo.

This Painted Lady was one of several that were nectaring on the blooming clover (in preparation for their debatable migration to the Southern States).  We enjoyed a very heavy influx of Vanessa butterflies this year, mainly due to 2017 warm winter and spring.

We have been seeing lots of

V. atalanta

V. virginiensis

and V. cardui , these Painted Ladies.

On October 11, I saw at least 20 female Monarchs nectaring on the red clover, Trifolium pratense,  growing along Riverside Road in Britt.   I suspect that they are in reproductive diapause, heading southward.

We also saw lots of Clouded Sulphur butterflies …

Feeding on red clover …

and flitting about …

The Clouded Sulphur is one of several common Ontario Butterflies that overwinters in its chrysalis stage.

Anje’s Canna Lilies are still blooming …

And the ivies are still growing around the windows of the old LBI:

And the house at the end of the road is enhanced by the Sugar Maple at its entrance.

Last year we had our first snow at the end of October.  The end of October is only a few weeks from now!  Time flies.